Anaheim Ducks: Isac Lundestrom Nets his First Career Hat Trick

Isac Lundestrom #48 of the Anaheim Ducks (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Isac Lundestrom #48 of the Anaheim Ducks (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

During an intense battle with the St. Louis Blues on Monday night, 21-year-old Isac Lundestrom shone brightly in the Anaheim Ducks 5-4 loss. Scoring his first career hat trick, he became the second-youngest player in franchise history to score three goals over the course of 60 minutes, Sam Steel being the first.

Prior to the start of the season, many were unsure if Lundy had the offensive chops to establish himself as a full-time member of the Anaheim Ducks roster this year. Things started off a little slow for the Swedish forward, netting only two goals in his first 14 games with the big club.

Spending a little time being volleyed back and forth between the roster and the taxi squad, he has finally settled into a centering role between Max Comtois and Rickard Rakell. Despite things starting off slow, over the last few games, Lundestrom has seemingly found a way to break out. While he went scoreless against Vegas, he had a few golden opportunities that had all of us on the edge of our seats.

His fierce determination carried over into the problematic challenge against our bloodthirsty adversaries, the St. Louis Blues. Even in the face of an overwhelming list of injuries, the Blues still managed to outscore the Ducks, winning the game 5-4.

There haven’t been a lot of positive takeaways lately when it comes to the Anaheim Ducks, especially in the wake of a 7-game losing steak. While the streak is, once again, alive and well, sometimes the easiest way to make it through these difficult times is to take the small victories when we can get them. And in the midst of immense frustration, Lundestrom’s hat trick is just what the doctor ordered.

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Taking Opportunities

Being the first to light up the scoreboard, Lundestrom scored his first goal of the night off the rush. Spending the beginning of the season focused on his defensive responsibilities, Lundestrom has taken a different approach to his game recently. When presented with opportunities, he has been taking smart chances and they have been paying off.

Coming down the wing, he was presented with two opportunities, pass or shoot. He could have done what his teammates have done all season when put in that same situation and passed. However, his quick decision-making paid off and he was rewarded with an early goal.

Picking his position wisely and shooting the puck, Lundestrom wired a crisp wrist shot, bar down, past St. Louis Blues netminder Ville Husso. His goal would give the Ducks the momentum they needed to finish the first period off strong. However, things got ugly in the second, and it was up to Lundestrom to set his team back on course early in the third.

Getting the Anaheim Ducks Back on Track

After scoring 4 unanswered goals, it seemed as though the Anaheim Ducks were completely out of the game. Despite there being 20 minutes left on the clock, they had a track record of letting the bad guys beat them when they’re down. Nevertheless, it was Isac Lundestrom who relight the fire, scoring his second goal of the game just 34 seconds into the third period.

Scoring with a beautiful wrap-around goal, Lundestrom’s strong skating was put on display. He maintained his balance and was able to get in on the inside edge. Had he hesitated even for just a second, the puck wouldn’t have made it past Husso. But, he followed through. In an attempt to make the save, Husso tried to dig the puck out of his crease with his left foot, but the puck hit his pad and crossed the goal line.

Completing the Hat Trick

Still down 4-2 late in the third, the Anaheim Ducks had less than five minutes to make something happen. It was evident from his performance on the ice that Isac Lundestrom had his eyes set on a hat trick. Earlier in the period, he had almost succeeded, but was denied during a stellar performance on the PK. Although he was robbed, one thing was for certain; Lundy was determined, and his persistence would soon pay off in a big way.

Over the last several games, the young forward has been building off of his chemistry with Rickard Rakell. The two welcomed a new linemate in the third period when Dallas Eakins paired them with Trevor Zegras. While Z would find himself scoreless once again, the three instantly gelled.

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The trio set out on the ice with Cam Fowler and Kevin Shattenkirk. The Anaheim Ducks were able to force a turnover in the wake of some careless puck handling by the St. Louis Blues. Rakell set up Shattenkirk for a seamless goal, but it was Lundestrom who tipped it in.

Lundestrom put himself in a position to succeed by getting himself to the front of the net. His perfect placement allowed him to get his stick on the puck and tip in Shattenkirk’s shot, sneaking it under the glove of Husso.

His final goal of the night put the Ducks within one goal of tying the game. Unfortunatley, his hat trick was not enough to save Anaheim from being served their seventh consecutive loss. Nevertheless, his performance offers fans a sliver of hope in the midst of absolute desperation.

The kids have been the biggest bright spot this season, particularly Max Jones, Max Comtois, and Isac Lundestrom. As the season progresses, we can only hope to see them continue to grow and progress in the roles they have been given.

And with his first career hat trick now in the books, Lundestrom moves up the ranks as the Anaheim Ducks second-leading goal scorer, just 3 goals behind Comtois. Would you have believed me if I told you two months ago they’d be leading the charge? The thought never would have crossed my mind, but I am certainly here for it.

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